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PhD Studentship: Designing a Non-thermal Plasma Reactor for Catalytic Reactions

University of Warwick - School of Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Coventry
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £20,277
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th June 2019
Closes: 31st August 2019

Supervisors: Professor Evgeny Rebrov and Professor Volker Hessel

Start date: 01 October 2019

Duration: 3.5 years

The project:

The laboratory for Energy Intensified Reactor Engineering, together with several academic and industrial partners, performs an ongoing research in the framework of an ERC Synergy project SCOPE on application of novel structured catalysts in plasma flow reactors. This project aims at the design of a novel type of catalytic structured reactor plasma for (i) nitrogen fixation into ammonia or nitric oxides (NOx) and (ii) methane coupling into ethylene under non-thermal plasma conditions. Non-thermal plasma (NTP) is an ionized gas, created in mild conditions by applying electric energy to a gas, for example, a potential difference between two electrodes.

Studies on microelectrode design and micro-plasma are emerging. Spatially confining the plasma to dimensions of 1 mm or less is a promising approach to the generation and maintenance of stable, glow discharges at atmospheric-pressure. Micro-plasma arrays have already been described for applications in surface modification. Additive manufacturing (3D printing) technology provides a new way to manufacture objects with complicated structure and small dimension. In the case of catalyst preparation, a better control of catalyst structures and active component distribution can be achieved by using 3D printing.

The primary objective of this research is to determine the result of varying the heat and mass transport properties, which affect the design if the catalytic reactor operated under non-thermal plasma conditions. The temperature, concentration and velocity distribution will be obtained as a function of several design parameters (catalyst thermal conductivity, electric field strength, intrinsic reaction rate, etc.).

The catalytic reaction in the plasma reactors will be studied to determine the reactant conversion, product yields/selectivities and energy efficiency for the model reactions, for a wide range of reaction conditions (including gas flow rate, applied power, gas mixing ratio).

More details about the SCOPE project can found in the Warwick news

Eligibility: Candidates must have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent).

Funding: The annual stipend will be £20,277 (tax free), for 3 years.

How to apply

Applicants should send a one page motivation letter together with their CV and academic transcript to with ‘PhD Application’ in the subject line.

If you are successful at the interview you will be required to submit a formal application for study and fulfil the entry requirements set by the University of Warwick. As soon as you have a University ID number you will be invited to upload your degree certificate, transcripts, and a personal statement that explains your specific research interests and why you should be considered for this award. To make a formal application you must complete the online application form and quote scholarship ERVH2. Details of how to make a formal application can be found here

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